Berlin -- The Solon Black 160/05 in-roof module for solar panels won the Innovation Prize of the 24th Photovoltaic Solar Energy Symposium, held in Bad Staffelstein, Germany, 4-6 March.
Decisive factors in choosing the Solon product above the other ten entrants included its attractive design and ease of installation, said a 9 March statement from Berlin, Germany-based Solon SE.
The Solon Black 160/05 is "completely black and blends in harmoniously with any roof surface," claims Solon. In addition, no conventional installation systems such as sarking membranes, aluminium rails, or module clamps are required, the company added. Sarking is the boarding used to cover rafters underneath a roof, and is usually covered with a water-resistant membrane to collect water that penetrates the tiles, or condensation.
Solon also pointed out that the jurors were convinced by the polyurethane frame. Together with Bayer MaterialScience AG, Solon developed a special process for producing the solar module with this frame. Predrilled holes integrated in the frame allow direct installation. In addition, the plastic frames of the individual modules overlap each other like roof tiles. This makes the system part of the roof's water-bearing layer and allows optimum water drainage, Solon said.
The new system is suitable for roofs with slopes between 22 and 60 degrees; the plates allow connection to all common roof tiles, the company said.
The system gives maximum peak power output of 180 watts, which Solon said corresponds to 14.06 percent efficiency. Solon will guarantee 90 percent output for the first ten years and 80 percent for 15 more years, the company added.
Solon claims to be one of the largest solar module manufacturers in Europe and also a leading supplier of photovoltaic systems for large-scale solar power plants.